Wrongful death claims in Florida have the same elements as general negligence claims except a loved one has died:
BREACH OF DUTY
BEWARE! THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS.
The time to bring a wrongful death claim is TWO (2) years with some limited exceptions.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim one must open an estate in probate court. A personal representative is appointed to represent the estate. In Florida to be a personal representative of an estate you must be a Florida citizen and competent – as defined under the law.
There are TWO distinct parties who can collect damages in wrongful death claims.
THE ESTATE ITSELF
A personal representative on behalf of a deceased’s estate can collect:
Funeral expenses; and
Net Accumulations – Loss of a person’s earnings from the time of an injury until death AND loss of future prospective earnings.
Survivors can collect:
For children and spouses – loss of a parents / spouse’s companionship and guidance (adult children can only collect damages if a deceased parent has no spouse);
Loss of support and services (for children and spouses who were supported by a deceased loved one and for elderly parents who were supported by an adult child);
Mental pain and suffering by children and spouses (parents can collect mental pain and suffering for the loss of a child and parents can collect mental pain and suffering for an adult child if there are no other survivors); and
Medical and funeral expenses (if not recovered by the estate).
WHO IS A SURVIVOR?
Survivors are generally:
Minor children (Any settlements for minor children must be approved by the trial court and require a guardian for the child);
Spouses – who are legally married;
Parents of minor children;
Adult parents (under limited circumstances); or
Blood relatives and siblings dependent on the deceased.
When a loved one is gone due to someone else’s negligence it is important that you know what your rights are. These are not simple matters.
Let my office MAKE this as simple as possible for you while you grieve!
Our office works on a contingency basis.** That means we only get paid if we get a recovery for you; we earn our fees out of our recovery FOR YOU ! If we don’t get you a recovery we don’t get paid !!
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Our firm handles cases all over Florida.
Your first consultation is always free. Remember you are not charged unless we win for you.
**Except in criminal matters.